It's good to know that the public can sometimes influence governmental decisions if people “carp” loudly enough.

We’re talking about the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources putting on hold its earlier policy to ban feeding the wildlife at the Linesville spillway at Pymatuning Lake. The story ran in Thursday’s Herald.

In short, the controversial policy meant that people could no longer throw bread or other food items to the carp that swarm there in search of free treats. Instead, only special environmentally friendly food pellets could be used. Naturally you had to buy them there, but that’s another story.

Immediately after the ban was announced last year, a public outcry arose. For more than half a century people of Mercer and Crawford counties have been taking their kids to the spillway where the “ducks walk on the fish.” They would take along bags of stale bread or buns, popcorn and other tasty morsels for the swarms of oversized goldfish.

Sure, some people thought it was disgusting. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And for kids, it was a wonderful, memorable experience — nightmares of falling into the swarming mass aside. Therefore, many people felt the ban was “for the birds.”

Well, according to the state, it actually was for the birds.

The ban was issued because of the increasing goose population. The geese would swoop in to eat bread products that didn’t quite make the distance to the water.

Many thought that excuse smelled a bit fishy and they refused to swallow it hook, line and sinker. Therefore, people began to complain to state officials and soon national publications began to report the story. A public meeting last year drew a huge crowd of protesters.

After all, more than 300,000 people a year — many from outside Pennsylvania — flock to the spillway to see the natural phenomenon. Businesses in that area benefited from the tourism trade.

While the ban has been lifted, park officials are asking that people voluntarily serve up only bread or proper fish food for the carp. Over the years people have been known to throw everything from watermelon to fried chicken to doughnuts.

Park officials are also going to encourage more hunting to cut down the goose population. Unfortunately carp don’t eat geese or that would solve a major problem.

But the real importance of the story is that people can make a difference if the outcry is great enough. And because of that, this is one story that apparently will have a happy fin-ish!

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